WHATEVER the result of tonight’s match when England faces Croatia in Russia for a World Cup final place there are several conspicuous winners.

First, it’s a win for the good guys. Gareth Southgate with his natty waistcoats and deferential manner has created an atmosphere so far removed from the “dentist’s chair” boozy antics as to be part of a completely different game.

He has instilled a simple, decent ethos among the players that takes football back to its basic roots and returns it to being a family game, reflected by the players.

Other winners have been local pubs and clubs where wide-screen action has drawn in the crowds – and the profits. The fans have won because World Cup 2018 has given everyone a shot in the arm with quality football with a vested interest.

And football itself is the biggest winner, attracting new fans and cementing the interest of established ones. It has been an exciting, nail-biting journey and we definitely hope for the best for England. Keep going, lads!